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Starbucks Names Darren King as UK Store Development Director

Credits: CoStar

Starbucks has appointed Darren King, a specialist in commercial and real estate, as its new UK Store Development Director. In this role, King will lead the coffee chain’s acquisition, design, and construction departments, as part of Starbucks’ UK leadership team.

One of King’s key responsibilities will be to oversee Starbucks’ UK store development program, including the strategic growth of both company-operated and licensed stores. Additionally, he will lead efforts to transition the design and construction of Starbucks’ UK store portfolio to its Greener store program.

This program focuses on creating stores with lower environmental impact, including reduced carbon emissions, water usage, and waste to landfill.

Starbucks Firm (Credits: Colegio Santa Ines |)

Starbucks, which opened its first UK store in September 1998, currently operates over 1,250 outlets nationwide. In March 2023, the company announced that its UK outlet growth strategy would prioritize digitally-forward smaller stores and drive-thru locations.

According to the World Coffee Portal’s Project Café UK 2024 report, Starbucks opened 110 net new stores in the UK last year, including 56 drive-thru sites, giving it a 12% share of the total UK branded coffee shop market.

Before joining Starbucks, King worked at private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management as a Consulting Specialist, focusing on hospitality and leisure real estate deals.

Prior to that, he held several senior roles at UK pub groups Greene King and Stonegate, including Strategy and Commercial Director, Commercial Property & Revenue Director, and Business Unit Director.

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